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Mobile Communications

FreedomPop offers free cellphone service--with a small catch

T-Mobile's John Legere likes to brag about his company's wallet-friendly wireless plans, but newcomer FreedomPop takes the cake when it comes to cheap cell service. For zero dollars a month FreedomPop offers 500MB of data, 200 voice minutes, and 500 text messages--not a bad deal if you aren't perpetually attached to your smartphone.

Sounds good right? The catch is that your cell phone selection is a bit...limited. The only phone that works on the network is a 2-year-old HTC EVO 4G running a modified ROM that routes all calls over the phone's 3G/4G data connection. It's a bit like using Skype, and your call quality would be affected depending on your phone's Internet connection. You can check and see if FreedomPop is available in your area by visiting the company's website.

FreedomPop is piggybacking off of Sprint's data network (much like Virgin Mobile), so your speeds and reception aren't exactly going to match what you get from carriers like Verizon or AT&T. But with smartphone plans costing an arm and leg these days, the money you end up saving might make up for all of FreedomPop's drawbacks.

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